Past Undergraduate Fellows

Learn how to become a CPD Undergraduate Fellow.

Luca Amato (AY 2017-19)

Luca Amato is a Senior from Los Angeles pursuing a B.A. in Political Science and a History minor at UC Berkeley. His interests include the establishment of political institutions in the developing world and European politics. Luca’s prior work focused on researching trends in California State Supreme Court justice elections over time. Here at Cal, Luca is the Financial Aid Policy Coordinator of the ASUC Student Advocate’s Office where he works both on casework with students struggling with Financial Aid concerns and takes the lead on crafting future policy projects for the office. After college, Luca plans on attending law school.

Elisabeth Earley (AY 2018-19)

Elisabeth Earley is a senior at UC Berkeley from Paradise, California. She will be graduating in May 2019 with a B.A. in Political Science and a minor in Spanish. Her research interests focus on citizen perceptions of legitimacy of the state, trust in institutions, and attitudes towards corruption, primarily in Latin American countries. She has a particular interest in research design and quantitative methods with a focus on survey experiments. She intends to pursue a PhD in Political Science with the intention to teach at the university level. Aside from her academic interests, Elisabeth also enjoys playing soccer, learning languages, reading and going on picnics.

2015-02-19 03.18.02Tracey Fung (AY 2016-17)

Tracey Fung is a senior pursuing a double major in Political Economy and Asian Studies at UC Berkeley, where her studies focus on identity politics and rural development in Asia. She spent this past year working with Dr. Karenjot Bhangoo Randhawa researching the role of women’s organizations in human security in Delhi. She looks forward to her fellowship with the CPD as an opportunity to bridge her undergraduate career to her graduate studies in international development.

Ben Gutman (AY 2017-18)

Ben Gutman is a senior pursuing a B.A. in Political Economy and a Global Poverty & Practice minor at UC Berkeley, with a focus in development in Latin America. His research interests broadly include economic development and grassroots political mobilization in Latin America. Ben spent the Spring 2017 semester studying the politics of development at the Pontificia Universidad Catolica in Buenos Aires, Argentina and interning with the Argentine Network for International Cooperation (RACI), where he compiled and translated grant opportunities for local NGOs.

Leila Hooshyar (AY 2018-19)

Leila Hooshyar is a junior from Morgantown, West Virginia pursuing a B.S. in Society & Environment and a B.A. in Political Science at UC Berkeley. Her interests include state building and assessing the strength of political institutions in mitigating conflict and confronting complex problems like climate change and civil strife. Leila’s prior research experience covers areas as broad as the global waste trade with a focus on e-waste trade in China and Ghana, as well as the consensual or non-consensual basis of civil and military interventions over time. Here at Berkeley, Leila serves as the Vice President of UC Berkeley Model United Nations, where she actively oversees and cultivates members’ professional development and skills in debate. After Cal, Leila hopes to spend a couple years working at a political think-tank or other research institution and then possibly pursue a J.D. Ph.D. program later on.

“Maggie”Maggie Hodgins (AY 2018-19)

Maggie Hodgins will be graduating in May 2019 with a B.A. in Political Science. She currently supports UC Berkeley’s Office of the Chancellor, ensuring smooth operations and quality services. She’s interested in the intersection of modern technology and personal data, focusing on how laws and norms safeguard privacy. Maggie intends to pursue law school with hopes to work for the Federal Trade Commission to develop and implement policy on privacy and data security. Maggie recently took up a knitting hobby and enjoys the benefits of it’s meditative process.

Madhumitha Krishnan (AY 2018-19)

Madhumitha Krishnan is a sophomore pursuing a B.A. in Political Science and History. Her interests include studying comparative law, political institutions in the developing world, and Eastern European and South Asian politics. She has previously done research regarding immigration law and Latin American political structures with the Center for Gender and Refugee Studies at  the UC Hastings School of Law.  Aside from research, Madhumitha is involved with the Berkeley Political Review and the Student Immigration Relief Clinic. She hopes to one day attend graduate school and obtain a JD and a PHD.

Aaditee Kudrimoti (AY 2017-18)

Aaditee is a sophomore studying political science and public policy with a concentration in sustainable development and international governance. Aaditee is originally from Tucson, Arizona, where she began to develop an interest in politics and international environmental affairs. Aaditee is currently working on projects in rural electrification and collective action, election monitoring, and women’s voting preferences in developing countries. As the Global North continues to influence developing countries to transition to renewables-based industrialization, Aaditee has become especially interested in studying the possibility of using renewable energy as a tool for democratization in these countries. She hopes to work as a researcher in sustainable development governance and energy access for international institutions.

Bio Picture - Denny LaiDenny Lai (AY 2016-17)

Denny Lai is pursuing a B.A. in Economics and Political Science, and a Public Policy minor at UC Berkeley, with a focus on international relations. His research interests broadly include economic development in Pacific Rim countries and political mobilization within developing countries. Denny’s prior work has focused on research ranging from congressional mobilization of expertise in lawmaking to politics of central bank appointments to the Federal Reserve banks. This past summer, he served as a Consular Affairs Intern at the U.S. Consulate-General, Osaka-Kobe in Japan, where he analyzed Japanese demographics and fiscal spending to make projections for future student exchanges to the United States.

Florin-James Langer (AY 2017-18)

Florin is an undergraduate whose interest in local and international environmental sustainability largely stems from a yearlong apprenticeship he held at an organization in Ecuador working to protect natural resources and aid farmers by conducting projects in sustainable irrigation and implementing systems to increase agricultural productivity. This has led him to study Computer Science along with Forestry & Natural Resources and Geospatial Information Science. He has been a part of several research projects in Dr. Daniel Kammen’s Renewable and Appropriate Energy Lab involving energy- and pollution-modeling to inform renewable energy deployment in California and Latin America. He hopes to leverage this interdisciplinary coursework and research to develop technical solutions that address pressing environmental and societal concerns to improve people’s lives.

Aurora Ling (AY 2017-18)

Aurora is a fourth year Peace and Conflict Studies major, concentrating in Human Rights. Her research interests generally revolve around the concepts of “human dignity” and “identity,” with the latter focusing on religious and gender identities. She’s excited to be pursuing a senior honors thesis researching domestic implementation of CEDAW in Russia—but really, she’s excited to be conducting research on anything related to Russia, China, or Latin American countries. Aurora hopes to pursue a PhD in Political Science and eventually become a professor in the field, researching and teaching about the formation/implementation of international human rights.

Marylin Wang Longley (AY 2017-18)

A Las Vegas native, Marylin is currently a fourth-year UC Berkeley student majoring in Political Science with a concentration in international relations. Her research interests are primarily concerned with economic development and governance in Asia. Having spent significant amounts of time in both China and India over the past few summers, she has been inspired by her travels. She is continuing her research on the impact of ridesharing apps, such as Uber and Ola, in India and how these apps have transformed the labor market. Marylin hopes to one day pursue a PhD in International Relations and then to work for the government as an analyst on development and security in the Asia-pacific region.

Simone MatecnaSimone Matecna (AY 2017-18)

Simone is a junior from Sacramento pursuing a joint degree in Economics and Peace and Conflict studies. While interning at research organization P!ensa in Viña Del Mar, Chile, she became interested in how power structures
affect people’s ability to access legal defense in different countries, particularly in Latin America. After receiving her degree, Simone plans to attend law school to further understand how to represent those that have been displaced from their countries due to violence and corruption. Currently, she works on a project that exemplifies government’s violence against its people in Guatemala, and also studies the effects of human rights abuses on revolutionary action.

Jenail MobarakaJenail Mobaraka (AY 2018-19)

Jenail Mobaraka is a junior from Palmdale, CA pursuing a B.A. in Middle Eastern Studies and Political Science with a minor is Human Rights. Her interests include the dynamics between majority and minority religious communities in the Middle East, the relationship between political stability and human rights abuses, and women’s  involvement is local politics. At UC Berkeley, she serves as the External Executive Director of the Middle Eastern North African Recruitment and Retention Center, as well as President of Students Organize for Syria. After graduating she hopes to attend graduate school and work in the Middle East.

Nicholas Pingitore (AY 2017-18)

Nick is a sophomore studying political science and data science. Originally from Oakland, California, Nick spent summer 2017 in Bolivia and Peru mapping Incan ruins using drone footage and computer rendering to reconstruct the site Saqsaywaman and better document its significance in pre-Columbian society. Nick’s interest vary broadly but include political history, cultural anthropology and the use of big data in social science research. Currently, he is using optical character recognition software to extract data from tens of thousands of secret police reports and census records collected under Guatemala’s dictatorship in the 1930s. After graduation, Nick hopes to work in industry before going to graduate school. Nick is also a staff writer for the campus magazine Berkeley Political Review. In his spare time, he loves to cook pasta.

Ashwin Ramesh (AY 2018-19)

Ashwin is a sophomore hailing from Voorhees, New Jersey. He intends on pursuing a B.S. in Business Administration and a B.A. in Political Economy. His interests lie in voter behavior, identity politics, and issue framing. Previously, he has worked on a Congressional campaign and contributed research towards some of the aforementioned areas at the University of Pennsylvania under Professor Daniel J. Hopkins. In his spare time, Ashwin loves to focus on his passions in music, film, and sports. Following graduation, he hopes to explore the intersection between the entertainment industry and politics.

Rudraveer Reddy (AY 2018-19)

Rudra is a junior pursuing a B.A. in Political Economy. He is an international student, hailing from Mumbai, India. His interests include criminal law and politics, especially in South Asian countries. He has worked in a law firm fighting criminal law cases for underprivileged members of India. Besides research, Rudra writes for the Berkeley Political Review and is a member of UC Berkeley Model United Nations. He hopes to attend law school in the near future.

Hugo SantiagoHugo Santiago Vazquez (AY 2018-19)

Hugo Santiago is a junior pursuing a B.A. in Legal Studies with a concentration in international law. Santiago’s interests include learning how to use legal institutions to harness accountability across governments and people. Santiago’s previous experiences include living in four different countries, building foreign language acquisition skills and mediating cultural differences in the work force. Here at UC Berkeley, Santiago has competed on the Speech Team, worked as a translator at asylum interviews and collaborated on research projects at the Human Rights Center at Berkeley Law. Santiago hopes to one day apply his research skills in law school and a career as a Foreign Service Officer.

Bhaavya Sinha (AY 2017-18)

Bhaavya Sinha is a third-year pursuing a B.A. in both Political Science and Psychology at UC Berkeley. Her research interests include women’s rights, socioeconomic inequality, and secularism in developing nations with geographical focus in South Asia, the MENA region, and Latin America. At Berkeley, she is the Project Coordinator for Asha for Education, overseeing budgets worth tens of thousands of dollars used to support schools for disadvantaged Indian communities. Bhaavya is also a former writer and current Senior Online Editor for the Berkeley Political Review, where she has covered a range of topics from Vicente Fox’s visit to campus to caste politics in California textbooks. Her articles can be viewed at She hopes to graduate early this summer and work in the non-profit sector before going to law school for international human rights.

Emma Soldon (AY 2018-19)

Emma is pursuing a B. A. in Political Science with a specialization in American politics. Her senior honors thesis focuses on the question, “Why no socialism in the United States?”, which has been a biting concern in comparative social science for decades. Specifically, Emma analyzes her hometown, Milwaukee, as an intriguing deviant case, given that it was governed by Socialist mayors for 40 years in the 1900’s. This project was inspired in part by Emma’s summer internship in the Milwaukee mayor’s office. Since then, Emma has interned for Congressman Mark Pocan (WI-02) and served as a research assistant for David Collier, Chancellor’s Professor Emeritus in Political Science. She hopes to graduate in May and attend law school next fall.

Vincent Viers (AY 2017-18)

Vincent is a senior majoring in Economics and Political Science and set to graduate from both SciencesPo Paris and UCBerkeley as part of a dual bachelor’s degree program. His vast range of interests spans anything from political philosophy to applied data science for economic research. He has previously spent time in Rajasthan, India, working as a program evaluator for a Public Services International initiative at the interface of women’s health, entrepreneurship, and mobile currency. Vincent’s senior thesis focuses on the role of Central Banks’ announcements on the formation of market expectations, using sentiment analysis techniques. In the future, Vincent hopes to pursue a Ph.D. in Economics and Public Policy.

Version 2Jiwook Yoo (AY 2016-17)

Jiwook Yoo is a junior pursuing a B.A. in Mathematics, Statistics, and Economics at UC Berkeley. His primary interests are public finance, developmental economics, stochastic processes, and topology. This summer, he stayed in Berkeley, working on machine learning in the Statistics Department.